It’s hard for most of us to turn a negative into a positive, but for Melissa Nikolic after dealing with a few health issues it gave her the chance to pursue her passions. “For a long time I’ve been drawing on the side and then all these other things kind of happened, and I just needed time out to do the things I enjoy,” she says.
As the frontwoman of classic Australian blues band Chubby Rae and the Elevators, Marisa Quigley has over the past fifteen years developed into one of the most recognisable voices in the music scene. Described as “Possibly the blackest white woman since Janis Joplin”, it is her energetic stage presence and distinctive vocal style that leaves you wanting more.
For Michelle Grace Hunder, a career in photography was something she’d never considered – until a gift from her husband inspired her passion of capturing moments. When she unwrapped the DSLR camera, what soon followed was a competitive photography competition between the couple and the realisation that Michelle was a natural. By chance Michelle found her niche photographing Australian hip hop singers, and has put together Rise, a 112-page photography book filled with 118 portraits of 182 artists to showcase the musicians and work she’s done in the industry.
Playing their first Victorian shows ever in October, The Weapon is Sound (TWIS) are very excited to be back out on the road again in support of their latest EP Direct Dub. With a gig at the Kennedys Creek Music Festival, I recently sat down with Dom Pearce, bass player from the band, to have a chat ahead of their east coast appearances.
There have been many great frontmen throughout the years of Australian rock and roll. Few, however, came with more grit and rock menace than Doc Neeson. It only seems appropriate that Cherry Bar will play royal host to a tribute show for the late, great frontman. Rock… thy will be done.
As the call connects whoops and hollers echo through the phone and Mike Finch greets me with a friendly hello. These are the sounds of a typical day in the “office” at Circus Oz, and something that Mike has enjoyed for the past 17 years. “I’m just looking across the rehearsal room with giant inflatable tube dudes with acrobats jumping all around them and hanging off the ceiling,” he says.
Long nights and early mornings, cheap beer (and even cheaper food), beat-up cars carting banged-up gear, couch surfing, half-rehearsed songs, rooms filled with little more than roped-in family and friends, unreliable drummers and barely enough money at the end of the night to cover costs – the music world wouldn’t be the same without young, aspiring musicians scrapping for gigs.
“I like reading interviews where people come across as stuck-up fools. It’s entertaining, and I reckon some people may need to be total wankers to feel like they are livin’ the dream somehow. Whatever floats one’s boat, really.” Diplomatically observed, Dave Kettley, guitarist for legendary Aussie outfit The New Christs.
Here’s one for you – How many bricks can one man have smashed on his stomach while lying on a bed of nails? For the answer we enlisted the help of the one and only Great Gordo Gamsby. “I broke sixteen concrete bricks on my stomach, breaking my own World Record!” Gordo replied proudly. “I broke that one on The Guinness World Record Show over in Milan. I actually just got back.” This seasoned strongman has been at the vanguard of the modern sideshow scene, not only here in Australia but internationally, for almost a decade.
Undoubtedly one of the biggest electronic and dance music festivals on the calendar, Earthcore is celebrating its 21st birthday in 2014. With the big event closing in, Forte caught up with main man Spiro Boursine to discover that Earthcore is far more than just a festival.